Dr Edward J. Hollox


Dr Edward Hollox

Reader in Genetics
Department of Genetics,
University of Leicester,
Adrian Building,
University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3407
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3378

E-Mail: ejh33@le.ac.uk

BA (Cambridge), PhD (London)


During an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in Biochemistry, a summer research placement developing methods to examine DNA replication origins in Joyce Hamlin’s lab at the University of Virginia sparked Ed’s interest in molecular genetics. Ed moved to the Galton Laboratory at University College London for his PhD in Genetics examining the genetics of lactase persistence in humans under the supervision of Dallas Swallow.  After six postdoctoral years in John Armour’s lab at the University of Nottingham, Ed was given the opportunity to start his own lab here in Leicester in 2006.



Ed's research focuses on human genetic diversity, its evolutionary origin and its phenotypic consequences. In particular, he is interested in the evolution and genetic variation of human genes in dynamic regions of the human genome, and the relationship of this variation with susceptibility to disease.

Research Interests

DNA sequence differences between people are known to be important variables when trying to understand why individuals are different. Most people have two copies of most genes: one inherited from their father, one from their mother. However, for some genes, including many involved in the immune response against infection, individuals have more or fewer than two copies. This is caused by duplication or deletion of genes on some chromosomes carried by those people, and we call this “copy number variation”. Both copy number and DNA sequence variation can exist together – for example a gene which could be present once, twice or three times on a chromosome could have polymorphic sequence differences between each copy.

There are several research projects in this area ongoing in the lab, ranging from understanding the evolutionary causes of copy number variation, to its functional consequences and relationship with human disease. A feature of the lab is its collaborations with academics in different institutions around the world. We have long-running active collaborations with colleagues at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, University of California Davis, University of Tennessee, INSERM Unit in Benin and the Federal University of Minas Gerias in Brazil.

Closer to home, Ed has collaborations with Martin Tobin and Louise Wain in the Department of Health Sciences on the genetics of lung function, and with Flav Giorgini here in Genetics.



Textbook: Human Evolutionary Genetics, Second Edition"http://www.garlandscience.com/product/isbn/9780815341482


BS1005 Genes

BS2026 Genes and Development

MB3050 Medical Genetics (co-convenor)

BS3000 Evolutionary Genetics, BS3041 Human Genetics

Other Responsibilities

Data Protection/Freedom of Information Departmental Officer

Outreach: GENIE Public Engagement Lecture 2009; ‘Breathless Genes’ exhibit, Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2012; Leicester New Walk Museum talk for the WT-sponsored ‘Inside DNA’ exhibition, 2013



PhD Projects

There is plenty of interesting research to be done that could form a PhD project in the area of copy number variation, structural variation, evolution or disease. For information follow FindAPhD.com (see below) or please contact me directly by e mail.


Search Find a PhD.com for this supervisor: Dr E.Hollox


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